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Sending Food or Beverages to the United States?

On December 6, 2012, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced changes to its informal entry requirements. Effective January 7, 2013, the limit for merchandise value under an informal entry will rise from $2,000 to $2,500. This means that food shipments valued below $2,500 can expedite the customs clearance process by using the informal entry process to eliminate the need for a surety bond.

With or without the use of the informal entry process, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires a Prior Notice be filed for every shipment of food to the U.S. regardless of the value of the food. If you export, transport, or import food into/through the United States, a Prior Notice must be filed with the FDA.

Companies have to file a prior notice with the FDA for products such as:

  • Food or beverages offered for human or animal consumption
  • Chewing gum
  • Dietary supplements
  • Food additives and ingredients

Food that is imported or offered for import with inadequate FDA Prior Notice submissions is subject to refusal and, if refused, must be held at the port of entry unless directed to another location. The importing or offering for import into the U.S. of an article of food in violation of Prior Notice requirements is a “Prohibited Act” under the laws FDA administers. FDA has provided its staff with enforcement guidance containing the agency’s policies on refusals, holds, injunctions, prosecution, and debarment related to failure to provide timely and accurate Prior Notice or otherwise comply with FDA Prior Notice regulations.

Registrar Corp helps with the filing of Prior Notice. If you have questions about Prior Notice regulations, or any U.S. FDA regulation, please contact Registrar Corp 24/7 at http://www.registrarcorp.com/livehelp or phone Registrar Corp: +1-757-224-0177.

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